Nearly half of Canadians are now going online as their main way of accessing financial services, according to a survey by the Canadian Bankers Association.


About 45 per cent of Canadians surveyed say they are doing most of their banking online. ((iStock))

About 45 per cent of Canadians have adopted online banking nationwide, with consumers in Western Canada being the most frequent users of online banking services and those in Atlantic Canada quickly adapting to the trend.

Residents of Quebec do the least online banking, with 41 per cent using it as the main mode of doing financial transactions, while 43 per cent of Ontario residents say they prefer online banking to all other methods.

In British Columbia, 50 per cent of consumers use the internet as the main way of doing their banking, and 72 per cent say they've banked online at least once in the past year, which is nine per cent above the national average.

"In 2000, only four per cent of B.C. residents did most of their banking online while 39 per cent did most of their banking at ABMs. Now, all that has changed," said Maura Drew-Lytle, spokesperson for the Canadian Bankers Association.

The association points to the use of smartphones as the next big growth curve for banking services.

Its survey found 23 per cent of Canadians expect they will be conducting their banking by mobile phone within the next two years. That number jumps to 54 per cent among Blackberry owners and 64 per cent among those who own PDAs such as an iPhone.

The survey was performed by the Strategic Counsel based on a randomly proportionate sample of 1,200 Canadians 18 or older.

Respondents were interviewed by telephone between May 25 and May 31.

The results of the survey are considered accurate within 2.9 percentage points 19 times out of 20.